By the way, one of the things I was wondering about this hunting season was whether the last six months of CrossFit would make a difference in my performance (actual or perceived) during this hunting season. The answer is ‘yes it did’. I got less winded and when I did get winded it didn’t bring me to a halt..I simply sucked it up and kept going because I knew from previous experience at CrossFit that I could. And while dragging animals across non-snowy terrain is never a walk in the park it seemed less taxing this time around. So, yes, the CrossFit experience helped. I was thinking to myself as I was dragging the deer that, based on performance at CrossFit, I know I could throw it over my shoulders and cover one mile with it in about fifteen minutes. But…I would much rather drag it, thank you very much.
This deer, and I have lost count, is yet another one in a string of “Less than 75 yard” kills. I’ve shot exactly one deer at around 125 yards. Every other deer has been at about 75 yards or less. This is a combination of factors…sometimes I’m just sitting quietly and when I look behind me theres Bambi staring at me, other times I crest a ridge and theres a couple right at the top where they couldn’t see me until I was on top of them, and other times…well…I think theyre just stupid. My point is that while I love the notion of long-range shooting and I have a deep appreciation for the belted magnums and good optics, the naked truth is that my entire hunting career in Montana could quite easily have been handled with an open sighted .30-30. However, since theres no guarantee that the next deer isn’t going to be 250 yards away, I’ll take the advantage that my scoped .308 gives me.
By the by, many folks think that for Montana hunting you need either super flat shooters like .257 Weatherby, .25-06, .270, 7 Mag or .300 Magnums or you need big thumpers like .338 Winchester, .35 Whelen, .375 H&H, or .45-70’s. For eastern Montana, with its flat rolling plains and antelope, yeah, the flat shooters are handy. And in mountainous and timbered western Montana its nice to have the big boomers for elk and bear. But..in my personal opinion, a middle-of-the-road caliber is ideal. Nothing smaller than 7mm and nothing bigger than 9.3mm. The .30-06 is always called the ‘all-around cartridge’ and it probably really would be that versatile in it’s utility. If I had the inclination to add one more cartridge to my logistics table and think of it as ideal for Montana it would be the venerable 7×57 Mauser. Sure, the 7-08 will do the same in a short action, and the .280 will beat it in a standard action, but I’m a bit nostalgic and would like a lovely Mauser in 7×57. I’d use 175 gr. Bullets for the elk and bear and drop down to the 145 gr. For the deer. Pleasant to shoot and plenty powerful. Nothing wrong with the other cartridges, we all have our preferences, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the old 7×57.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the official unemployment figures topped 10% for the first time in quite a while. Note that is the official figure, unofficial figures are almost certain to be higher. The official figures do not count people who lost their jobs and then simply gave up looking or moved off of unemployment benefits. Its like tracking homeless people by counting how many show up on the soup line…theres obviously a percentage who don’t show up and are thus uncounted. Same with unemployment. What is the ‘real’ number of unemployed? I have no idea. I see people throwing around figures that are about half again as much, some higher. The term ‘jobless’ recovery is starting to crop up. How can you have a recovery without jobs? Pretty easily, I’d imagine…businesses simply learn to run ‘leaner’ and do more with less. But I don’t think that’s the case here. I think whats going on is simply that people are worried the economy is going to get worse, so they hold off on hiring, purchasing, acquisitions, etc. in order to preserve capital ‘just in case’ and that inactivity makes things worse. Self-fulfilling prophecy. How can .gov break that? Interestingly, I think an out-and-out Orwellian media campaign. Keep talking about ‘recovery’ and ‘growth’ long enough and loud enough and people will start to believe it and, again, you get a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You guys all know the ‘stone soup’ story, right? Buncha soldiers come into a besieged town and decide to cook a meal. They have no food and the locals are in no way inclined to share whatever they have. One of the soldiers sets up a big kettle of water and makes as if he’s about to prepare a huge pot of soup. A curious villager asks what he’s going to make. “Stone soup.”, he replies, dropping a couple large round rocks into the pot. “Its delicious. The tastiest soup you’ve ever had.” The villager, and the others that have started to come around, are, naturally, skeptical. But the soldiers make the motions, bring the huge kettle to a boil, and put in some large rocks…stirring and commenting amongst themselves about how good the soup will be. By now a crowd of villagers has gathered to watch this absurdity. One of the soldiers says that the soup, while good, would be superlative if only it had a little bit of onion. One of the villagers says she might have an onion or two, and comes back with a sack of onions. Into the pot they go. More stirring, more murmuring. The crowd is starting to wonder if maybe there isn’t something to this as the smell of onions wafts from the kettle. After a while another soldier says “It’s a shame we don’t have some potatoes to put in. Those would make this soup truly memorable.” Another villager says he might know where to get some potatoes and comes back with a few pounds. Into the pot. This goes on for a while, every so often a villager returns with something to put in the pot. Hours later the kettle is simmering with onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, meat, spices and all the other ingredients the villagers have added. The soldiers finally pronounce the soup done, pull out the rocks and discard them, and everyone has some of the ‘stone soup’.
To be sure, there are several sinister implications and interpretations to this story but I could see it being a parable for what the .gov thinks is needed for recovery. “This recovery is going to be awesome, but what would really put us on top would be if interest rates were changed.” And a few weeks later “Smell that? This is going to be an excellent recovery. I wish we had some tax changes to add to it. That would make a wonderful addition”. A few weeks later “This is turning into a fantastic recovery. Best we’ve ever had. An extension of the home-purchase credit plan would make it perfect!” And the next thing you know – ‘stone soup’ recovery.
I think you could argue that any economic event is instigated by perception as much as by economic theory. The bank run scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a great example of that. Bailey’s was, in fact, unsound at the time the townies came in clamoring for their deposits. However, by convincing people that it was sound kept it from being blown away, never mind that it really was unsound. To carry the movie analogies even further, perhaps this will be a ‘Field Of Dreams’ recovery – build up the hype that the economy is roaring back to health and the consumer confidence will come.
Regardless, I don’t believe we’re out of the woods yet economically. There are way too many variables and indicators that no one really believes we’re on the train back to Fat City. Sure, there’ll be a recovery…how could there not? But when and what it will look like are still up for grabs.
My opinion, for what its worth, is to stay the course…be careful with your resources, hold off another year on the jet ski, and be prepared to have a ‘deep personal financial crisis’.